Did you find that in a baby-naming book?

I was in the checkout line at a local Target tonight and noticed that the clerk had a very large tattoo on her right shoulder. I initially noticed it because of its size, vibrant colors and intricate details. Then I looked closer.

It was an angel with all sorts of decorations around the outside and a ribbon at the bottom with a name. That name… was Joesph. That’s right, it was spelled Joesph: J-O-E-S-P-H. So I’m guessing that either someone got way too creative when naming their child or this woman’s tattoo artist was way too focused on the vibrant colors and intricate details to bother with checking his spelling.

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So much for PerBloWriMo…

Yesterday, I was thinking about writing a blog entry every day in December. I missed the official “National Blog Writing Month” in November, but screw it, I’ve always been a free spirit anyway.

That was yesterday and you may note the distinct lack of a blog entry. It’s been a long past couple days and I may write about them later, but suffice it to say that I’ll try not to skip any more. I’ve got plenty of stories to tell. Back in November, I wrote about opening night of Trials, Tribulations and Christmas Decorations. Well, there were eight more performances and it was a memorable run overall. I guess this is one of those “I’ve been meaning to write some of this stuff and I’ll get around to it eventually.”

Now I’m getting around to it. But if I don’t, if I miss another day or two this month, I’ll probably use “always been a free spirit” as a cover story again.

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Once again, I got nothin’

I’m too busy being lazy to think of anything really amusing and I can’t afford to be lazy: there’s a party to attend! And the weather is supposed to turn really crappy in a couple hours, so I should probably get up, run some errands and get wild and crazy for the rest of 2010! And by “get wild and crazy”, I mean “watch some movies, eat too many snacks, feel bloated when we ring in the new year and pass out into a food coma.” Same old, same old.

So to everyone out there on the Interwebz, I hope you have a very safe, very happy, very merry, very splendid, very very very spiffy New Year. Enjoy 2011, y’all. I’m sure it’ll enjoy you just as much.

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Is it because I lack resolve?

I’m sure some people have been working on it for weeks already: their New Year’s list of resolutions. “2010 was (insert description here), but 2011 is going to be awesome! I’m going to do these specific things and I’ll be rockin’ the shiz-nit!” Well, I’m not among those masses—I don’t bother with resolutions.

I talked about this once at a Toastmasters meeting a couple years ago. I was just checking out the group, seeing if I was interested, but I opted to stick with the public speaking skillz I already had. Besides, they confirmed that I wasn’t doing too bad at the time.

During the last half of the meeting, they would pick people out of the group, ask each one a question and the person would have to talk for a minute or so. After four or five people, everyone would vote on who they thought did the best job. The person choosing speakers picked me by accident—normally, they don’t have guests speak, but she thought I looked familiar… (I opted not to mention anything about being on TV.) Still, I decided to give it a shot, so she asked me what my new year’s resolution was going to be.

I got up in front of the group and felt fine, no real nervousness, but I started rolling my sleeves up and kept doing it while I was talking, which might have cost me some votes. But aside from that, the essence of my little speech was what I said in the first paragraph: I don’t bother with resolutions.

My reasoning? I tend to be a bit pessimistic when it comes to stuff like that. “I’m going to work out more.” “I’m going to lose weight.” “I’m going to start doing [blank].” But what happens if you mess up? If you miss a workout or eat a really heavy meal, you start to feel guilty. If trying to keep that resolution and failing makes you feel guilty, why bother making it in the first place? Deciding “I’m going to lose 20 pounds!” and not losing weight after a month… time for large quantities of comfort food that instantly counteract whatever progress you might have made through the remainder of the year.

There was more since I spoke for over a minute, but I filled the required amount of time and sounded like I knew what I was talking about. If I remember right, I received some sympathy from people who weren’t as pessimistic about resolutions and those might have been the people who gave me their votes. The winner probably got a trinket of some sort—remember, this was a couple years ago and some details are a little fuzzy—but just hearing that some people in the group thought I did the best… that was pretty cool, too.

Some of you reading this may be thinking, “Wow, what a great story… hey, wait a sec. You resolved to write a blog entry every day in December and you’re almost done! Hypocrite!” Oh yeah?! Well… yeah. I got nothin’. Maybe it’s because I set the bar pretty low for myself:
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“Write something—anything—from the 1st through the 31st and create a warm, fuzzy feeling inside of myself that doesn’t entail buying one cup of something that costs nine bucks at Starbucks.

“Whether the entries will be of good quality… I’ve written good and bad before, so I’ll let you be the judge.”
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Piece o’ cake. Some were a couple paragraphs I finished 15 minutes before midnight, some were epic short stories. Okay, maybe just regular short stories. But the point is that while I had my daily deadline, I didn’t sweat the other details. If the blog entry was good, yay for me. If it sucked… well, I finished it anyway.

That said, tomorrow is the last day of December and the last day of PerBloWriMo. The entry may be short again—I’m going to a friend’s house for New Year’s Eve and the pre-party starts at noon—but I’ll finish the job I started. Okay, fine, that might be the completion of a resolution, but it was only a month-long deal. Still, small victories are victories nonetheless.

Starting in 2011, writing every day will probably be out the window, but I don’t want to subject people to a lot of suckage if I can help it. I’ll put more time into writing blog entries and hopefully even write them as opposed to just thinking about what to write. Wait… that’s not a resolution, is it? It is? Shit. Well, I might as well go shopping for large quantities of comfort food now.

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Could Sonny Bono be alive?

Blog writer Shawn Bakken is reported to have died shortly after a snowboard accident earlier today – December 29, 2010.

I, a writer & novice snowboarder, was vacationing at the Zermatt ski resort in Zermatt, Switzerland with family and friends. Witnesses indicate that I lost control of my snowboard and struck a tree at a high rate of speed.

I was air lifted by ski patrol teams to a local hospital, however, it is believed that I died instantly from the impact of the crash. I was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and drugs and alcohol do not appear to have played any part in my death.

Additional details and information will be updated as it becomes available. This story is still developing.

About Zermatt Ski Resort – While neighboring Gstaad is one of the world’s top resorts with its three five-star hotels and St. Moritz is more popular, most rank Zermatt as Switzerland’s top resort. A remarkably peaceful getaway, the village is peaceful thanks to its car-free environment. Amazingly picturesque, Zermatt holds the world’s second biggest lift-served vertical drop and receives huge snowfalls thanks to its altitude.
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Hmmm… makes for an interesting read when it’s about yourself (versus Owen Wilson, Adam Sandler, Charlie Sheen and whoever else supposedly died in a similar fashion within the last week or two). I’m not really sure why the bogus report is pimping the ski resort—maybe one of the employees there has been making up the rumors to increase its visibility among the “unwashed masses” (i.e., people who don’t and will never care about skiing in Switzerland).

For those of you who might be concerned, multiple pop culture media sources have debunked the story, so now we can go back to thinking about other pressing matters. Like how the NFL might punish Brett Favre in 2011 for texting pictures of his junk to Jen Sterger during the 2008 season.

You know, it’s times like this when snowboarding into a tree starts to sound pretty appealing.

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Mmmm, menthol…

Man, if all this exercising with the Wii pans out, I might develop some semblance of cardiovascular fitness. It’s always been a dream of mine… but the biggest reason I’m doing it is because of my knee. My goal since surgery in April was to start playing again in 2011. (The doc gave me the all-clear after four months, but better safe than going under the knife again.) The winter season starts on Jan 9th, so that goal is inching ever closer.

These days, it usually hurts above and below my kneecap after working out and feeling a stabbing pain while trying to push off the turf to run forward might hamper my ability to play. So I’m taking precautions. For example, I’m putting ice on my knee for at least 15 minutes after exercising. The doctor recommended it, but bringing an icepack to the game and trying to keep it cold so I can sit around with it strapped to my leg afterward could prove difficult. I tested an alternative today and I think it’ll work: Biofreeze.

You may remember from back in November that I used it on my knee during one of the Mind Over Matt performances, at which point the back of the tube ripped open and plopped its contents all over the floor. I prevented that problem this time by getting a “roll-on” dispenser, which means it’s difficult to get stuff out even when you’re using it properly. Even so, I used it on my knee after my workout today and made a few discoveries:

1) It does indeed feel like I’m icing my knee.
2) I could get up and walk around instead of sitting in a chair with an icepack wrapped around my leg.
3) It makes me smell like menthol.

That last one could be a nuisance since I have to drive home after the game, which is sometimes a 30-minute drive. That scent could fill up the vehicle to the point where it always smells like menthol and every time I give someone a ride, they’ll ask if I have a chest cold and use Vicks VapoRub to try to get rid of it. I could open the windows while driving home, but during wintertime in Minnesota… I might end up needing the VapoRub.

Still, I think that’s the route I’m gonna go. If it’ll get me back on the field, I can handle a funky-smelling Shawn in the car—I’m willing to make that sacrifice. If you want a ride… well, you might get stuck making some sacrifices, too.

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